Disability is too often framed as separate and foreign to what matters for women (Frances Ryan). The relative absence of disability in the politics of the feminist movement, as Rosemarie Garland Thomson suggests, means ‘that feminist assumptions can fail to take into account disabled women’s situations’ because ‘some of the differences that disability provokes can complicate feminism’s understanding of female bodies and the oppression of them’. This leads Susan Wendell to posit that: 'we need a feminist theory of disability. Both because 16 per cent of women are disabled, and because this oppression of disabled people is so closely linked to the cultural oppression of the body'. The seminar asks has the feminist movement and its scholarship too often forgotten disabled women? How do we ensure scholarship, across the humanities and social sciences, takes an intersectional approach to understanding multiple identities and experiences of women with disabilities from Black and Minority Ethnic communities?
In this seminar Dr Helen Brookman celebrates the work of Anna Gurney, a pioneering nineteenth-century scholar of Anglo-Saxon, who became a wheelchair user following an illness in childhood. Dr Brookman examines the impact Gurney's disability had on her scholarly praxis and considers the implications for writing the feminist history of scholarship.
Julie Jaye Charles FRSA SARSM is Chief Executive and founder of Equalities National Council of Disabled People and Carers from Black and Minority Ethnic communities. For 30 years, Julie has been deeply involved in developing Black (BME) community driven strategies directly on improving the well-being, representation and social inclusion of those communities. She will discuss her vision of working with government to recognise and abolish the multiple inequalities and social exclusion which form the many barriers that undermine the value of BME disabled people and carers, across the spectrum of Health, Social Well-being and Care, Housing, Employment, Volunteering, Education, and Crime.
This event was chaired by Dr Marie Tidball (Knowledge Exchange Fellow, TORCH).